Our Passion

Dye it with feeling

Whether it be through letters, figures, or patterns, things that are dyed have stories to tell, landscapes of color to show, ideas to convey.

People say, “do it with feeling.”
We say, “dye it with feeling.”

For the people who use, wear, and display our products, we dye every piece with feeling.


Since 1887

From the colorful shrine banners waving in the wind against the blue sky, to the navy blue aprons worn by izakaya staff, to the noren curtains that let through the warm light and laughter of the restaurants you frequent, Nagakan Dyeing Factory has been, and is, unfadingly with you, for more than 130 years.

The history of the Nagakan Dyeing Factory dates back to 1887. Records show it was founded by dyeing craftsman Kanbei Nagano in Moto-Aramachi (present-day Aoba-ku Ichibancho), producing the happi coats and aprons used by merchants, craftsman, and other residents of the city.

The original Nagakan Dyeing Factory was destroyed in 1945 during the bombing of Sendai during WWII. It was rebuilt in its current location of Minami-Someishimachi with several other dyeing factories, which developed the the area into a vibrant dye works neighbourhood.

Minami-Someishimachi's Shichigoburi Canal earned the nickname of "Indigo River" from the locals, because its abundant waters ran blue from all the washing of dark blue cloth. The sight of the canal lined with dyers washing their wares became an iconic symbol of the area and its traditions.

After the war, orders for fisherman's flags increased and the dye factories' fields were filled with the dazzling colors of fisherman's flags drying in the sun. These flags, made through a process of layering many different dyes, required a high degree of technical skill, and in 1985, Nagakan Dyeing Factory was recognized by Sendai City with its award for Technical Achievement.

When the feudal lord Date Masamune built the city of Sendai at the end of the Sengoku Period (early 1600's), he brought six dye masters with him from his native Iwadeyama. Nagakan Dyeing Factory has inherited the skills of these dye artisans and continues to pass them down today.

Traditional and Modern Techniques

Since its founding, Nagakan Dyeing Factory has been passing down knowledge and techniques to younger generations.

"We want to carry on the dyeing culture of Minami-Someishimachi established by our predecessors and continue it 100 years into the future."

- Masaki Nagano, CEO

The tools we use for dyeing are the same ones that have been handed down from generation to generation, as is the resist paste we use, made from a mixture of rice and bran. From the gentle aesthetic of the designs, to the softness of the cloth on the skin, authentically dyed products are high-quality. As long as there are people who appreciate this quality, we will continue to pass on the craft of authentic dyeing.

Authentically dyed cloth is beautiful even after the colors lighten. As the owner of one prominent restaurant which uses authentically dyed noren curtains put it,

authentic dyeing "has got soul."

Just as Nagakan Dyeing Factory honors tradition, we also embrace new technolgy.

We use inket and dye sublimation printing, which have excellent color reproduction, for work that involves complex designs such as graphics and photographs.

To achieve textured designs, we employ silk printing, which uses pigments.

Not only has technology developed, but also, the variety of fabrics on which to print has become more diverse, such as tenugui developing into towels.

There is always an intention and feeling when we dye a product . Nagakan Dyeing Factory will continue to pass down dyeing techniques and traditions so those intentions and feelings may continue to live on.